July 14, 2006

Charts: July 14 2006

Todd Hutlock
Bandulu - Phaze In Remix [Infonet]
LocoDice - Seeing Through Shadows [Minus]
Johannes Volk - Synergetik [Mission 6277]
Ben Watt - Old Soul [Buzzin’ Fly]
Quadrant - Infinition [Planet E]
DJ T Vs. Booka Shade - Played Runner [Get Physical]
Ellen Allien & Apparat- Way Out (Robag Wruhme Vati Mafonkk Remikks) [Bpitch Control]
Goldfrapp - Fly Me Away (C2 Remix 4) [Mute]
Electronic Resistance - Marvelous Night (Claude Young Remix) [Såhkåtek]
Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia - Pull [KK]

Michael F. Gill
Tri Atma – Mikrokosmos [Erdenklang]
Lindstrom – Breakfast in Heaven [White]
Wali & The Afro Caravan - Hail the King [Solid State/Harmless]
Squallor - I Love My Disco Baby [CGD]
Stars On 33 - I Feel Music in Your Heart [Vulture Music]
Galoppierende Zuversicht – Klumpknolle [Dachkantine]
Gys – Lon (Soultek Remix) [Zer0 G Sounds]
To Rococo Rot - Music Is a Hungry Ghost [Mute]
King Tubby – Sir Niney’s Rock [Metro]
Françoise Hardy – Parlez-Moi De Lui [Asparagus]


May 19, 2006

Live: Alan Braxe at ISSST, The Key, London, May 2006

Alan Braxe has sold over two million records that are aimed straight for the heart of the dancefloor, most of them copies of “Music Sounds Better with You,” one of the best ever tracks about dancing and a giant crossover record that even the people I know who despise dance music grudgingly admit to liking (it was #2 in the UK back in August 1998.) Almost unbelievably, before the beginning of this month Alan Braxe had never played a DJ set in public, apparently preferring to be known for his production work.

His doing so deserves an in-depth report. Unfortunately this ain’t it, but I’ll endeavour to get as many details down as possible. It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention, but more that I was paying attention in the wrong way (with every sinew and fibre of my body—but not many brain cells). Also, I was drunk. If I could just write “I danced and had a lot of fun,” I would.

The Key, in Kings Cross, is a club that I’d had an awful experience with previously when it, along with other clubs in the same complex, was part of a hellishly overcrowded, incompetently organized, and hateful in all ways Soulwax “warehouse party.” Tonight, though, it was fine: friendly bar staff, a honeycomb dance floor that made me worry when the giant bees would be returning, and so much dry ice that I felt I was in a dream sequence from Manhunter or Risky Business. The sound was crisp and clear and bumping, but not so loud that I had no voice the next day from YELLING.

Here’s how things end up being in London—Justice and the Ed Banger Records crew along with Mr. Oizo were playing on the same night. In the club next door! And they got a bigger turnout, which is a shame but to be expected in the real or imagined constant NOW of dance music. On the plus side (for me, if not Braxe), it meant that there weren’t any boggly-eyed pill casualties except for one mullethead who’d travelled all the way from Scotland to get mashed and forget everything by the next day. Even he was friendly enough in a I-am-gonna-give-you-a-high-five kind of way.

What made Braxe decide that now was the time to play out (and in London rather than his homebase of Paris), I don’t know. Maybe it was the chance to DJ with Vulture label mate Kris Menace, who did the heavy lifting, manning the decks for most of the evening whilst Braxe cued up re-edits on his laptop. Not that division of labour mattered. As a force, they were hands in the air exciting all night, starting as they meant to go on—hi-impact—with a pitched up “LFO,” “Body Language” and some Chicken Lips before moving into filter-disco. There was surprisingly little I knew except for Lifelike and Kris Menace’s “Discopolis” and a vocal-less, re-cut and stripped-to-the-bone “Music Sounds Better with You” that removed the anthemic whilst keeping the disco propulsion. It was like a suite of variations on the first three seconds of the track, ever spawning and replicating. Near the end, three hours later, there was a baffling mindwarp of an edit of “O Superman” by Laurie Anderson (was it chosen because it also reached a highest chart position of #2 in the UK?) I emailed my brother to find out what I’d forgotten but all he could add was that Braxe “looks like a typical man from the Tricolour French textbooks from school… (i.e. like a sex criminal).”

Then Cagedbaby stepped up and killed the vibe as easily as Braxe had killed EQs with a set of ‘roided-out Bloc Party remixes and tracks that instruct you to have fun just a little too emphatically. It didn’t really matter, though. The best was over with and I managed to get chucked out by the bouncers anyway. I stood in the cool morning light, ears still ringing, loose limbed, and sweaty because I hadn’t stopped moving all night.[Patrick McNally]


February 10, 2006

Defender - Defender

200512"Neo-Disco

Known mostly for their excellent remix work for Annie, DFA 1979 (their take on “Black History Month” was one of the defining mixes of last year), Royksopp, and Goldfrapp, the duo of Alan Braxe and Fred Falke make their debut as Defender with this stellar two-track single. The self-titled A-side is a bouncy, aggro romp that strongly recalls Human After All era Daft Punk (muted metal guitars, robotic backbeat,) but with an added kick in the pants courtesy of a monstrous hard-house thump. The flipside, “Bliss” is refreshingly different, a slice of pure disco heaven dripping with FX-daubed strings and gorgeous synth runs atop a smooth-yet-funky backbeat. Two tracks, two winners, and with a perfect run so far in the remix department, we could be looking at another great year for the duo.

Vulture Music / 013
[Mallory O’Donnell]